This paper reviews policies and practices regarding assessment of sex offenders for risk of reoffense among public agencies and private treatment providers in Washington State. Specifically, we reviewed the use of risk assessment instruments, which gauge the likelihood that individual sex offenders will reoffend.
We found that a diverse set of instruments are employed by public and private entities in making decisions about sex offenders. These decisions include sentencing, facility assignment, treatment, release, public notification, and community supervision. As expected, there was greater variability in risk assessment practices among private treatment providers than public agencies.